Berlin/Dresden, 03. March, 2021 - For just under four years, seriously ill patients have been able to obtain medical cannabis on prescription. Tens of thousands of patients with chronic pain, spasticity, anorexia/wasting, nausea and vomiting during chemotherapy already benefit from this additional therapy option. But growing demand exceeds availability, and bureaucratic hurdles make prescribing difficult. Despite this imbalance, patient care must be ensured. DEMECAN, as a German pioneer, is committed to the security of supply and ensuring therapeutic diversity under the highest pharmaceutical quality.
The possibility of prescribing cannabinoids for the therapy of seriously ill people has added an important add-on therapy to the framework of a multimodal therapy approach. In the first half of last year, over 160,000 SHI prescriptions of cannabinoids were recorded. As use increases, so does knowledge about the indications, effects, and side effects, as well as the therapeutic diversity of the products. In addition to the indication of chronic pain, other areas of application include oncology (e.g. tumor pain) and neurological diseases (e.g. epilepsy). Nevertheless, significant underuse of seriously ill patients is to be expected, especially in the field of family medicine. The main reasons are bureaucratic hurdles in the application process and skepticism on the part of physicians and insurances.
The health policy objective of a quality-assured and demand-oriented supply of patients in Germany with cannabis-based medicinal products primarily provides for the regulated cultivation in Germany. DEMECAN was awarded the contract for the cultivation of medical cannabis by the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM) and has set itself the task of ensuring the nationwide supply of high-quality medical cannabis in "Made in Germany" quality for the benefit of patients. For this purpose, medical cannabis is produced under strictly controlled conditions near Dresden.
From cultivation to further processing and storage to delivery to pharmacies - at DEMECAN everything is covered from a single source - making it the only independent German company that cultivates cannabis for medical purposes in Germany.
Focus on the patient
Only a small proportion of severely ill patients who could benefit from additional add-on therapy are already receiving add-on therapy with cannabis-based medicines today. The total of 3.8 million patients with severe chronic pain alone suggests an undersupply. Also, data from the cannabis companion survey ordered by the federal government indicate that the diagnostic spectrum of medical cannabis is expanding. Imports must be relied upon to meet national supply needs, preferably from companies with existing medical and quality-assured expertise.
For this reason, DEMECAN has entered into a collaboration agreement with Little Green Pharma, a vertically integrated company from Australia specializing in medical cannabis. Little Green Pharma, like DEMECAN, actively promotes educational programs and participates in clinical trials and research projects of medical cannabis.
With the launch of the medical cannabis flower DEMECAN 20:01 Florestura, a THC-rich flower with Sativa dominance, DEMECAN provides high-quality medical cannabis for patient care.
"Securing care, safe care" is the motto of the Pain and Palliative Day of the German Society for Pain Medicine (DGS) taking place in March. The presidium under Dr. Johannes Horlemann is strongly committed to the adequate care of seriously ill patients. Among other things, for the dismantling of bureaucratic hurdles to facilitate access to medication. But also in the evaluation of the evidence situation around the therapeutic variety of the different dosage forms. In this context, flowers represent an important part of the supply alongside extracts and finished medicinal products. In 2021, the practice guideline "Cannabis in Pain Medicine" will therefore be further developed to take into account the improved study situation in the use of all applications of cannabinoids. Therapy with cannabis flowers will be re-evaluated. DEMECAN has also set itself the goal of ensuring therapeutic diversity and will provide further cannabinoids in pharmaceutical quality for the care of patients soon.
DEMECAN is the only independent German company that covers the entire production chain for medical cannabis - from cultivation, processing, and storage to distribution to pharmacies. The company was founded in 2017 by Dr. Adrian Fischer, Dr. Cornelius Maurer and Dr. Constantin von der Groeben with the aim of guaranteeing patients access to medical cannabis with "Made in Germany" quality. The Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM) awarded DEMECAN the contract to grow and process medical cannabis in May 2019. Cultivation and further processing are carried out in accordance with the highest pharmaceutical standards at the facility near Dresden. As a pharmaceutical wholesaler, DEMECAN cooperates with cannabis producers worldwide and imports medical cannabis that meets its own high-quality standards. The DEMECAN Group is a member of the Federal Association of pharmaceutical Cannabinoid Companies (BPC) and a supporting member of the Association of Cannabis Supplying Pharmacies (VCA e.V.).